The Journal Gazette

Home Search

Legion wants answers for female vets

Reps to hear about VA care issues

National officials for the American Legion will have a town hall meeting Wednesday in New Haven to discuss the quality of health care that female military veterans receive at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fort Wayne.

In addition, American Legion representatives plan to visit the VA Medical Center in Fort Wayne on Dec. 6 and 7 to talk with patients, staff and administrators.

The site visit and town hall meeting will be conducted by the Legion’s System Worth Saving Task Force, which travels each year to about 20 VA medical centers across the nation.

The task force reports its findings to Congress, the White House and VA leadership.

The Legion said its next report will focus on female veterans’ health care needs. Women account for 1.8 million of the nation’s 23 million veterans, the Legion said.

Jacob Gadd, the American Legion’s deputy director of health, said Wednesday in an email that the organization had been contacted by Fort Wayne-area veterans about the suspension of inpatient care at the local medical center.

“We want to hear firsthand from the facility what happened as well as understand from veterans what concerns they have,” Gadd said.

The Lake Avenue medical center announced in October that it had temporarily halted inpatient care. A spokeswoman said this month that hospital services would resume in early 2013 if “sustainable, high-quality safe systems and processes” and “staff competencies” are in place.

The center has been trying to fill vacancies in key positions, including the chief of medicine.

At the request of Reps. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, and Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, VA Inspector General George Opfer agreed last week to review the decision to suspend inpatient care at the Fort Wayne complex.

If you go

What: American Legion town hall meeting on health care received by female veterans at VA Medical Center in Fort Wayne
When: 5 p.m. Wednesday
Where: American Legion Post 330, 330 Entrance Drive, New Haven
Who: Meeting for female veterans currently receiving health care from the VA but also open to members of all veterans organizations

Copyright © 2014,